The Washburn Review • April 1, 2015 • https://washburnreview.org/8571/sports/after-further-review-the-final-four/
The Final Four is the goal of every team in college basketball. Making it to the semifinals in the Division I tournament seems to have taken over for making it to the finals. This has come, no doubt, from having the semifinals and championship at the same site. Doing that makes it into almost another tournament. Nonetheless, we have a good one setting up for us in Indianapolis this weekend. In one matchup we have two of the best coaches in the history of college basketball. In the other game, we have a team that could finish of the best season in history with a National Championship victory. Let’s take a look at what we have to look forward to and what is going to make Saturday and Monday special.
It will be not only about the men in the jerseys, but it will be equally about the men in the suits on the bench when Duke takes on Michigan State on Saturday night.
For Duke, you have players on the floor that may be in the headlines as often as head coach Mike Krzyzewski. The Blue Devils are trying to win the championship, like they did in 2010, when the 2015 team’s star players were in junior high. Three Freshman lead the way for Duke as Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow try to make the most out of what will be the last chance for one, two or all three of them.
For Michigan State, it is going to mostly be about head coach Tom Izzo and how he took a seven seed to the Final Four. The Spartans last won the championship in 2000, but have not missed a tournament since then. On top of making the tournament, they have won more than one game in all but five tournaments in those 14 years. It will be senior guard Travis Trice leading the way, along with junior guard Denzel Valentine.
In the Second game of the night, we will see if Kentucky can make it to the championship and finish off a perfect season. It was a tough game for the Cats against Notre Dame last Saturday, and they are going to have another tough one with the Wisconsin Badgers.
The Badgers will throw out two guys that can flat out dominate a game in Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker. The two combined for 56 of the team’s 85 last Saturday.
The big problem, big being the key word there, is going to be the towers down low for Kentucky. Although Kaminsky and Dekker are tall, 7’0 and 6’9 respectively, they will have to go up against Willie Cauley-Stein (7’0), Dakari Johnson (7’0) and Karl-Anthony Towns (6’11). This will be the matchup to watch, along with whether or not Aaron and Andrew Harrison can dominate at the guard position.
Ultimately, my predictions are Duke and Kentucky in the National Championship with the Wildcats ending the season a perfect 40-0 and Kansas native Cauley-Stein as the MVP.